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Features

Named for their nesting habits, if they haven’t got an old tree, a ­nesting box will do
      Now is the time to start looking in trees for ducks. In early spring, wood ducks seek nesting spots. Unlike most other ducks, they look for tree cavities to lay a dozen or so eggs. It is fun to find a duck perched in a tree, as they look so out of place.         In the early 1900s, wood ducks were in a decline. They were heavily hunted, and logging of hardwood along waterways reduced nesting areas. In 1912, built nesting boxes were introduced, with an immediate increase in successful nesting.
Those innocent-looking sippers are one of the Top 5 plastic ocean pollutants
      In my other life, I’m a server in an Annapolis restaurant. Like most American eateries, my restaurant serves straws with each drink, sometimes paired with a cocktail stirrer or two.

For more than 45 years, Bill Ticknor has kept the 326-year-old St. James’ Parish abreast of history

      Moving from his hometown of Baltimore to the pastoral setting of Lothian was a shock for Bill ­Ticknor. Assigned there after ordination in the Episcopal Diocese of Maryland, he had trouble sleeping in the rectory because of the quiet. 
A Bay Weekly conversation with Annapolis Mayor Gavin Buckley 
      Before running for mayor of Annapolis, restaurateur Gavin Buckley ran in high heels and a skirt during a men-in-high-heels sprint at the 2015 Annapolis Fringe Festival. That was nothing out of the ordinary for the South African-born Buckley, who grew up in Perth, West Australia. 

From Ford’s Theatre through ­Southern Maryland to Virginia

       On April 14, 1865, John Wilkes Booth assassinated President Abraham Lincoln. Over the next 12 days Booth scurried through Southern Maryland and into Virginia, evading his pursuers in the manhunt of the century.        Southern Maryland was familiar territory to Booth, who visited under cover of real estate investment. During the long years of the American Civil War (1861-1865) he built a cadre of co-conspirators whose Confederate sympathies drove them to extreme measures.

A Bay Weekly conversation with writer, birder and ­educator Katie Fallon

       Ewww, vultures! How can you stand them?       Katie Fallon, who finds lots to love about those bare-headed carrion-eaters that so many find fearsome and disgusting, has heard it all before. Fallon is a vulture advocate and in the business of changing minds. So she hopes her March 21 audience at Quiet Waters Park will leave with a new appreciation for the birds and the role these fabulous flyers play in our ecosystem.

How young artists view our great estuary

       Each of us Bay-lovers sees the Chesapeake in a different way. Especially important is how young Marylanders see our great estuary, for its survival will soon be in their hands.         March has been celebrated in Maryland for 57 years as Youth Art Month.         This month, you can see the new  160-piece exhibit, Portraits of the Chesapeake Bay, just up at Calvert Marine Museum.

Maryland First Lady Yumi Hogan and 5th-grade artists will

       Yumi Hogan, artist and Maryland’s First Lady, looked carefully at each poster created by our state’s 10 fifth-grade finalists in honor of trees. The posters ranged from a wordless black-ink-and-rainbow-colored tree … to a tree in winter with a lone child on a swing hanging from one of its snow-covered branches … to many illustrating all that trees do for their fellow earth dwellers: photosynthesis, habitat, oxygen, shade and more. 
Forensic artist puts images to 200-year-old descriptions
       Lot Bell, who became a free woman in 1816, survived through two centuries of history in a few words written by the man who had claimed her ownership. Granting Lot her freedom in his last will and testament, ­Silbey Bell described her of “pretty dark complexion, long face and high cheek bones … a very remarkable scar on her head on the left side thereof which resembles a mulberry very much.” On the 30-year-old woman’s Certificate of Freedom, those words were the equivalent of her passport photo.

Researchers track down slave descendants’ legacies

Legacy (n) 1. Any special privilege accorded a firstborn. 2. Something immaterial that is passed from one generation to another.